Government abolish Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation

The government has officially announced the abolition of the DC in a a huge cull of quangos. It is a move it says will improve accountability and cut costs.

It will axe 192 of the public bodies – such as the Film Council and the Audit Commission – while 118 will be merged.

The future of some bodies is still under consideration but 380 will definitely be kept, the list says.

Minister Francis Maude could not confirm how many jobs would be lost. Labour’s Liam Byrne said the cull could end up costing more than it saved reports the BBC.

Among those being abolished entirely are the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and Cycling England.

British Nuclear Fuels
British Shipbuilders
Youth Justice Board
Film Council
Audit Commission
General Teaching Council for England
Regional Development Agencies
Chief Coroner’s office
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
Teenage pregnancy quango closed

Others, like the Zoos Forum, the Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee and the Air Quality Expert Group, will be replaced by “committees of experts”.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company will have its functions transferred to London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The Government Hospitality Advisory Committee on the Purchase of Wines will also be abolished, but ministers are considering whether another body should continue its work.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Byrne said he backed the idea of cutting the number of quangos, a process he said the previous Labour government had set in motion.

But he accused the government of changing its argument over why they should be axed when it became clear that costs associated with closing them would not lead to any savings and could cost money.

He dubbed Mr Maude “the most expensive butcher in the country”.
He said: “Labour had a plan for steadily saving £0.5bn by carefully closing 25% of quangos over the next few years.

“The Tories now need to tell us whether their desperation for headlines and faster cuts means the cost of closing quangos is actually bigger than the savings. And while they’re at it, they should tell us whether their manifesto commitment for 20 new quangos is now on ice.”

Among those the list confirms will be retained are Acas, the Competition Appeals Tribunal, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Low Pay Commission, UK Trade International, the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

The list also confirms that the government intends to merge the Competition Commission with the Office of Fair Trading, Postcom and Ofcom will be merged as will the Gambling Commission and National Lottery Commission.

Unions reacted angrily to the announcement. Unite’s joint general secretary, Tony Woodley said: “The fact that Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude is unable to say how much will be saved and how many jobs will be affected by this cull shows the threadbare nature of the thinking behind these abolition plans.”

And Paul Noon, of the civil service union Prospect, described the bill planned to bring the changes in as “a legislative hammer to smash public bodies which are doing valuable work in the public interest”.

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